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Something old, something new and something blue were on display for Mellor FC’s Centenary party celebration

Many old players and committee people joined current players and staff to enjoy the remarkable 100 year feat of the local amateur team that plays in blue, with more than 120 people crammed into Marple’s Social and Forces Club in Lime Kiln Lane on 28 October 2023.

Attendees were welcomed by a huge banner and many historic photographs and other memorabilia.

The guests included many members of the newly formed women’s team.

The event was organised by current player Nick Farrow and superbly compered by ex player Chris Boydell, who also created the wonderful slideshow record of the event shared on Youtube and featured below.

There were speeches from current chairman Stew Smith and former chairman George Dearsley, who held the post for 33 years from 1979.

George Dearsley said: “The numbers playing amateur football are dropping alarmingly. Some big local names in amateur football have disappeared in the last 15 years. So it’s a credit to all the chairmen, committee people, volunteers and players who have kept alive the club started by a family of Mellor farmers called the Hambletons.”

The club wishes to thank the staff of the venue for superb service, including a wonderful buffet.

The club's story so far

The club was founded in 1923 by local farmer Arthur Hambleton. His son John played in the team and later helped to run the club as a committee member alongside his brother Philip, attending weekly meetings.

Mellor FC c1934
Mellor circa 1934 with founder Arthur Hambleton far right and son John (back row third from the left).

Mellor has played on a number of grounds over the years including Gibb Lane, Mellor and behind The George pub in nearby Compstall.

Its base is now at Wood Lane, Marple, a £267,000 changing room complex it shares with Marple Rugby Club.

To celebrate its opening in 2002, Mellor played a Manchester City Veterans Eleven, including ex star winger Peter Barnes and won 2-1.

The club still has minute books going back to its early days. One volume covers 1938 to 1948. On one right-hand page there is an entry for a meeting held on 10th June 1940 which records club activities being suspended due to the Second World War. The next line was written on 9th May 1947 and records the players lost in the fighting.

In the same volume in December 1947 the committee agreed to purchase "a latrine bucket" for the dressing room, with a plea that someone should be nominated to empty it.

A team from the 1980s
A victorious team from the 1980s

Mellor joined the Lancashire and Cheshire League in 1962 and has won a host of trophies, especially in the 1980s and in the past 15 years.

Earlier this year it lost one its stalwart members John Bellis, a player, manager, secretary and vice chairman, who died aged 84. John held the record as the oldest player ever to appear in a Premier Division match in the Lancashire and Cheshire League, coming on as a substitute in a match against Rochdalians in 2005, aged 66.

Mellor currently runs two senior teams, a Vets team and a women’s team.

By George Dearsley (Hon President Mellor FC)
Marple Places